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for awhile a more pure and salubrious air. There are some very laudable institutions here for charitable purposes, particularly the free-school, and asylum for deserted negroes; the latter is of a nature so benevolent and necessary, that none of the parishes ought to be without one.
Montego Bay is a thriving and pretty populous town; but it was still more so previous to 1795, in which year it suffered very severely by a fire, which consumed two thirds of the town, and destroyed a great deal of other property; the whole of the houses that were destroyed have not since been rebuilt, a proof that this town is not now so populous as it then was. There is here a handsome court-house, lately built, and a neat little church, but the gaol is a most wretched one, and is, indeed, a disgrace to the parish. This town is the capital and sea port of St. James's.
Falmouth not many years back was a small petty village; but it has risen rapidly to be a considerable town, through the increasing trade and cultivation of the parish (Trelawney) of which it is the sea port, and now bids fair to rival Montego Bay in wealth and prosperity. There is a good church here, and a hydraulic machine for supplying the inhabitants with water.
St. Jago de la Vega, or Spanish Town (as it is sometimes called), is situated in St. Catherine's, and is, as before noticed, the seat of government. Here, too, are the public offices; so that this
town, though not a large one, fróm it's containing the government and assembly houses, and various other public buildings, may be considered as the genteelest and handsomest town in the island. It is intended, too, that some considerable additions and improvements in the public buildings here are to take place. Here, as before observed, is a temple and statue erected to the memory of Lord Rodney, whose fame the people of Jamaica honour as they would that of a tutelary deity.
Port Royal is a middling large but meanlooking town, standing on a narrow peninsula or neck of land. It is chiefly remarkable for its excellent fortifications, and naval yard, the harbour of Port Royal being the rendezvous for our men of war in this part of the world. Most of the inhabitants here are people of colour. This town was totally swallowed up by an earthquake, in the year 1692.
Savannah la Mar is a hot, dirty, and mean looking place, inhabited chiefly by people of colour, who keep lodging houses for the accommodation of those who attend the Cornwall assize-court, this place having the honour of being the county town, on account of its central situation. In this wretched place, however, the best fare is, provided, for which a most enormous price is charged, viz. six or seven dollars per day. Savannah la Mar once suffered greatly from an earthquake.
There being nothing remarkable in the other smaller towns or villages, and this not being intended as a regular topographical account, it will be unnecessary to say any thing respecting them.
The houses in this island are of various forms and constructions. Some have stone foundations, others are entirely built of wood; some have jealousies, some sash windows with venetian blinds, and some have a mixture of both. Most of them have piazzas, either open or with jealousies, and many have balconies. The apartments within, besides the piazzas, are a large hall, sometimes a recess as a sitting-room, or boudoir, a pantry, a closet, and bed-rooms. The kitchen, or cook-room, as it is here called, is a separate building, being never part of the dwelling-house as in Europe; this is highly proper, in order to obviate accidents by fire.
In the towns there is a wretched intermixture of handsome and spacious houses with vile hovels and disgraceful sheds, inhabited by free people of colour, who keep petty hucksters' shops, and by low white people, who vend liquors and give rise to many disorderly and indecent scenes. This evil ought to be rectified if possible. As the city of Kingston is now chartered as a corporate body, it will probably take the lead.
As for bridges, and other public structures of the kind, in this part of the world there are few that deserve mention, except a neat cast iron
bridge, imported from Great Britain, and some few years ago thrown across the Rio Cobre. There is indeed often a marked deficiency here of public spirit in undertakings of this sort. Men, who will cheerfully spend their money on a horse-race, &c. will often prove niggardly of a small addition to a subscription for completing a permanent public work. An instance of this lately occurred in the parish of St. James. A sum was raised for the purpose of throwing a bridge over Montego river, near to a dangerous ford, about a mile and a half from Montego bay, where many lives had been lost in consequence of the force and rapidity of the stream when the river had got swelled by heavy rains. A few additional thousands would have sufficed to build a handsome, durable, and substantial stone bridge; but rather than come forward with this additional required supply, the rulers of the arish contented themselves with a wooden machine, which they denominated a bridge. The former, besides the advantage of durability, would have been an ornament and a credit to the place; the latter, as long as it lasts, will exhibit a monument of the taste and sound policy of the projectors. As a still further display of taste, a gallows has been placed on the centre of this bridge, like a triumphal arch! through whichthe traveller has to pass, no doubt to his great admiration. Some small amends are, however,
made for this act of gothicism, by the erection of a handsome court-house, as already noticed.
About fifteen years ago a work was undertaken, no doubt from laudable and benevolent motives, which, had it succeeded, would have proved a most useful and important benefit. This was an intended close harbour, or pier, within which vessels would have rode in safety during the prevalence of the north winds, which have too' often made terrible havoc among the shipping in Montego bay, owing to that harbour being exposed to a heavy swell from the sea. A charter was obtained, a company erected, tolls demanded, and considerable sums of money subscribed, which have been regularly laid out; yet, whether it be owing to some mismanagement in the prosecution of this work, or to the impracticability of the scheme, the projectors seem still at as great a distance from the completion, of it as when they began. Had an able engineer been on the spot when this work was commenced, it is probable he would have given some wholesome advice on the occasion.
The public roads in this island are in general very good; they are superintended and kept in repair by way-wardens, as they are here called, who are appointed by the parochial vestries for the purpose. A parochial tax is levied to defray the Of late years many new roads of communication have been opened throughout the